To an administrator, teaching art can seem simple. They know you encourage creativity, talk about artists, and make messes in your classroom. But, more often than not, administrators are vastly unaware of all the things that go into making up a successful art curriculum.
You teach art. Great. But, how do you go about doing it? What tools do you use to teach? What do you need, as the art content expert, to do your job even more effectively? You need a solid plan, scaffolding tools, resources, attainable goals, assessments, standards, anchor charts, art images, and accurate, vetted information. That is a tall order to come up with all on your own.
Of course, you could patch together a unit using someone else’s YouTube videos, a couple of old art posters, and a worksheet you have seen on Pinterest, but is that the best solution for you and your students? No. The truth is you deserve all the tools in your toolbox of teaching. You need access to quality, standards-driven, state of the art curriculum. That is where FLEX Curriculum comes in.
What is FLEX Curriculum?
FLEX Curriculum is a modern, flexible art curriculum for K-12 school districts. In FLEX, materials are organized into “Collections” based on themes. Teachers have access to countless lessons, resources, assessments, and videos that align with state and national standards. FLEX reflects current events and educational initiatives, as it is designed to meet the needs of a diverse student base. Plus, new material is added regularly. Art teachers and their students are sure to discover better ways to support learning using the platform.
And just think, with FLEX Curriculum you will never have to doubt the rigor or relevance of what you share with your students again!
FLEX Curriculum has all the support materials you will ever need. While you’re able to purchase FLEX on your own, most teachers find they can get funding from their school district to use instead. While intimidating at first, speaking with your admin about curriculum development is actually easier than you think.
Administrators want their teachers and students’ work to be the best they can be. Unfortunately, sometimes, they just have no idea what to look for in a solid art curriculum. This can be true of Fine Arts Directors as well. Many have a strong background in music but don’t know exactly what it takes to support visual arts education.
Let’s talk about why having access FLEX Curriculum is so important and how to make your administrator jump at the chance to purchase it for you, your colleagues and your students.
Getting Your Administrator On Board
When art teachers see FLEX Curriculum for the first time they breathe a sigh of relief. Teachers love the fact that they can enjoy all the benefits of a standardized curriculum all while having the freedom that they crave and deserve. FLEX is not one-size-fits all. Instead, it is customizable for all.
A standards-aligned curriculum that administrators can get excited about is no easy feat. They have to ensure that what they spend funds on will actually pay off and teachers will actually use. With FLEX you can have confidence that both of those things are true.
Gearing Up to Ask
You might be wondering how to turn the excitement about FLEX Curriculum into a tangible result. According to our experienced Sales Team, who are very familiar with the ins and outs of admin and district funding, it is best to remember the following three tips when gearing up for the conversation.
3 Tips for Asking Your District to Pay for FLEX Curriculum
1. Don’t be discouraged by the cost.
It can feel difficult for art teachers to ask for money for their curriculum. The truth is, FLEX is actually much more affordable than similar curriculums for general classroom teachers. For example, some districts spend up to $250 per student, per year in textbooks.
2. There is power in numbers.
Before your meeting, it’s a great idea to reach out to other art teachers in your district. Most teachers are the only art teacher in their building. Most art teachers don’t see each other unless it is a professional development day. Connecting with other art teachers accomplishes more than camaraderie, it also allows you to become a stronger voice for better curriculum support.
In a nutshell, the more art teachers you get on the bandwagon, the more persuasive your proposal will be!
One more reason to get a group together is cost. A district can get bulk pricing options. You can contact a Sales Managers at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Or, give AOEU a call at (515) 650-3198. We will make sure you get the information you need!
3. Enter the meeting with a clear written plan.
When you take the time to connect the features of FLEX Curriculum with the needs in your classroom your presentation and discussion will go much smoother. When you are thoughtful about the advantages of FLEX your administrator will take you much more seriously. Also, instead of taking your admin by surprise in the hallway, make an appointment so that the conversation can go uninterrupted.
In addition to preparing your own thoughts, you can provide them with this helpful download that lays out the options and presents avenues that perhaps they hadn’t thought of.
Hopefully, entering the meeting with these three tips will get you a “yes.” However, your administrator might have some questions or concerns for you. This does not mean that you were underprepared or did a “bad” job. It means that they care and want to make the right choice.
Once your administrator says they are interested, there are some essential steps that follow:
6 Steps to Getting FLEX in your Classroom:
1. Complete an Interest Form:
Once you have piqued the interest of your administrator, have them fill out an interest form on our website. It will have questions about district size, teacher numbers, and some details about your needs.
2. We will reach out:
From there, a Sales Team Member from AOEU will reach out to your administrator and set up a no-pressure no-obligation meeting to discuss FLEX via phone or video chat.
3. Art Teacher Input:
Usually, administrators will seek additional input from art teachers to fully understand the needs of all art educators in the district and to ensure that FLEX will fit the needs of the district.
4. Funding Options:
Once an administrator feels confident about discussing procurement options, the Sales Team Member will advise and support and the needs of your district. From this, a final quote will be created.
5. Administrator Seeks Approval:
Oftentimes an administrator will seek the approval of the entity providing the funds, most likely a board.
6. Approval of FLEX:
Once approved, the administrator and team will be introduced to AOEU’s School Success Department which will then create an Implementation Plan and a mutually beneficial start date for platform access.
Now you are reading to start using FLEX with you and your students! Now that you understand more of the process, you can better field questions from your administrator in the process.
Common Administrator Concerns and How to Address Them
While many administrators will be excited to provide you with a modern art curriculum that is not sourced by Teachers Pay Teachers or social media platforms they are valid in some questions about FLEX Curriculum. Let’s present a few common inquiries and how to address them. Of course, it’s a good idea to connect your admin with our Learning Advisors (email@example.com) to go over any specific concerns they have!
Question 1: How can I be sure this is something that will actually get used?
Administrators are right to be concerned that they are using funds for another set of curriculum resources that could go untouched. Your response should first clarify where the “holes” in your curriculum currently stand and how FLEX can fill them.
How Flexible is FLEX? 3 Ways to Use FLEX to Supplement Lesson Planning
Highlighting the ability to access FLEX Curriculum resources at any time is key here. FLEX is also continually expanding its library of new content including new lessons, resources, and tools for you to use in your classroom right away.
Question 2: We already have a set curriculum. Why do we need this, too?
This is an opportunity for administrators to provide teachers and students with curriculum that is truly meaningful and usable. It is personalized to the teacher and students and will allow your students to grow in the best way possible. Challenge the idea of status quo. Is what you have really what you need?
3 Ways to Implement FLEX Curriculum in your District
Question 3: How will I find the time to set up a new system?
Another concern administrators might have is about the time it takes to implement and train teachers to use FLEX Curriculum. Luckily, AOEU has an amazing system in place to help a school district with the onboarding process. When a district implements FLEX, they are supported by our School Success Team, complete with easy-to-follow trainings and built-in touchpoints to make sure things are going well.
Question 4: How do I know this content is vetted? What kinds of standards does this content meet?
Admins will be happy to know that FLEX Curriculum and all its content producers are masters in the field of art education and has been thoroughly vetted for relevancy and authenticity. In addition, all content is aligned to National Core Art Standards and working towards to align all the 50 state standards as well.
Finally, your administrator can feel good about the fact that the curriculum is coming from The Art of Education University. We are a leading source of professional development in the art education world. Our website is visited over one million times each month by hundreds of thousands of art teachers. Over 70,000 art teachers subscribe to our emails, and we serve over 1,500 graduate students each year.
For More Information
If you would like more information about FLEX Curriculum or want to connect your administrator with our team, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Learning Advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our phenomenal customer service team would also be happy to help get you the information you need. You can call (515) 650-3198 or email email@example.com.
Finally, don’t underestimate your own power, plan and knowledge. Your request is important. If you approach your administration with confidence and passion you will be able to advocate best for yourself and your students.
What questions do you still have about FLEX Curriculum?
Is there any other information we can provide to make talking to your administrator easier?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.